Sport Khawaja-inspired Thunder survive Scorchers fightback

18:21  11 january  2018
18:21  11 january  2018 Source:   Sporting News

Usman Khawaja one of world's best: Watson

  Usman Khawaja one of world's best: Watson Sydney Thunder BBL skipper Shane Watson has declared Usman Khawaja one of the best batsmen in the world.Just as he did two years ago, Khawaja looks capable of single-handedly carrying the Thunder to the Big Bash League title.

Usman Khawaja ’s return to the Big Bash League inspired Sydney Thunder to a much-needed victory over Perth Scorchers , as Cameron Bancroft and Hilton Cartwright’s daring counterattack fell short. Reigning champions Perth had been unbeaten this season until they lost to Brisbane Heat last week.

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Usman Khawaja of Sydney Thunder© Getty Images Usman Khawaja of Sydney Thunder

Usman Khawaja's return to the Big Bash League inspired Sydney Thunder to a much-needed victory over Perth Scorchers, as Cameron Bancroft and Hilton Cartwright's daring counterattack fell short.

Reigning champions Perth had been unbeaten this season until they lost to Brisbane Heat last week.

And while the Scorchers responded by seeing off Melbourne Renegades at the Furnace, they came up short on the road again on Thursday, as Khawaja (85) helped the hosts to 4-175 batting first.

Mitchell Johnson (0-25) fell flat with the ball and then Perth openers William Bosisto (9) and Michael Klinger (4) both failed.

Scorchers stun top-placed Thunder in WBBL

  Scorchers stun top-placed Thunder in WBBL The Scorchers have overcame a batting masterclass from superstar Alex Blackwell to beat the WBBL ladder-leading Sydney Thunder in Perth.England allrounder Nat Sciver's unbeaten 61 and some poor Thunder bowling including an alarming 20 wides allowed the Scorchers to comfortably reel in the visitors' 4-134 with 11 balls remaining.

READ MORE: * McCullum accuses Hobart of not upholding spirit of cricket * Adelaide Strikers down the winless Melbourne Stars * Brad Hogg drop costs Renegades win v Scorchers * Hobart Hurricanes survive Sam Billings onslaught. Khawaja hits 86 in Thunder win. 36ers too good for Taipans.

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But Bancroft (75 not out) and Cartwright (65no) ensured a dramatic finish, the latter smacking a huge six back over the head of Mitchell McClenaghan (1-53) and hitting the roof in a tense finale.

The New Zealander suffered a torrid last over, giving up that six as well as a four, and bowling a no-ball, but somehow retained his composure and narrowly avoided consigning his team to what would have been an embarrassing late capitulation.


Khawaja signed off on the Ashes with 171 in Sydney and he had no trouble readjusting to the shortest format of the game a week later.

The 31-year-old brought up his half-century by dispatching Tim Bresnan over long-off for six and, for good measure, he then pulled the veteran over square leg for another maximum from the next delivery.

In addition to finding the boundary eight times, Khawaja also plundered sixes off the bowling of Matthew Kelly and Ashton Agar, who ultimately dislodged the rampant opener with a ball that angled away outside off stump, eliciting an edge taken by Klinger.


While Australia may have romped to an easy 4-0 win, it was a series to forget for Bancroft, whose 82 not out in the second innings in Brisbane was his only half-century across the five Tests.

Usman Khawaja hurts himself in SCG outfield

  Usman Khawaja hurts himself in SCG outfield You never want to see this happen, and English fans will remember the damage an incident like this can cause. All Australians are hoping that Usman Khawaja hasn't done too much damage to his knee after an awkward moment in the SCG outfield.Khawaja was chasing a David Malan cover drive off Nathan Lyon, but when the 31-year-old went to slide his knee dug into the newly laid SCG turf. © Getty Images Usman Khawaja injured while fielding. The ball went for four, but all Aussie players immediately looked concerned for the number three batsman.

Brad Hogg: Scorchers spinner rolled back the years with a four-wicket haul. Usman Khawaja : Sydney Thunder batsman stood tall as wickets tumbled around him. Sydney Thunder slumped to a seventh straight defeat in the Big Bash League

Usman Khawaja hits a six for the Thunder . Photo: Craig Golding. A unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 137 between Khawaja 's Test colleague Cameron Bancroft (75 not out off 56 balls) and Hilton Cartwright (65 not out off 41) almost stole the match for the Scorchers .

The 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman looked more at home at the Sydney Showground Stadium on Thursday than he had making a duck across the city at the SCG a week earlier.

Bancroft stemmed the flow of early wickets and transformed Perth's innings from damage limitation to a daring bid for victory, surviving being dropped by Khawaja to smack three sixes and five fours off 56 balls alongside Cartwright, although the pair's valiant efforts ultimately proved to be in vain.

I'm to blame for Renegades loss: Hogg .
Perth Scorchers batsman Ashton Turner capitalised after being dropped on 16 by Brad Hogg to guide his team to victory over the Melbourne Renegades.Hogg had a homecoming to forget in the Renegades' five-wicket BBL loss at the WACA Ground on Monday night.

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